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My Favorite Things – Children’s books

Since my mom has been in the process of moving and getting rid of everything that is not completely “hers,” every time I see her, I’m presented with a box of some sort.

Usually on the top or bottom of the box (or both!) is a pile of long forgotten friends…my favorite books when I was a kid. Since I helped her clean the books out of the attic, I’m constantly surprised at these finds she brings to me and where on earth they may have been stashed.

My brother and sister receive the same sorts of stacks, but at least they have children in the house who may continue to use the books. Myself? I have an entire shelf of a bookcase devoted to these books…and no idea if I should keep some of them and pass them on!

So, my top 5 favorites…

1. Tiki Tiki Tembo. I was a huge fan of Caldecott Award-winning books. I love me some pictures! I can still remember the voices of the narrators from the record (yes, the giant CD-looking things) that came with this book. I think that record has helped me to be an expert at rereading this book to my nieces and nephews!

2. Caps for Sale. Chances are, I saw this book on Reading Rainbow. I loved that show. Any reason to watch TV at school was good by me. I liked this book because the guy was selling hats like my dad wore. And monkeys stole them. Who doesn’t love monkeys? And had I not read this book over and over as a kid, I might think it’s ok to take naps at work. But alas, it’s not. If you take naps at work, monkeys will come steal all your merchandise.

3. The Frances Books: Bread and Jam for Frances, Bedtime for Frances, etc. From the time I was born until I entered school, my name was not “Mary,” it was “Mary Frances.” But when you go to kindergarten and the teacher takes attendance, she doesn’t think of calling you by first and middle name, so I became, simply, Mary. From then on, whenever anyone found out my middle name was Frances (a name that I only knew “old people” to have, like my grandmother), I’d get incredibly embarrassed. But the badger in these books was a little girl too. And she got to eat bread and jam. I love bread and jam.

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I think this was one of the first “long” books that I read all the way through (so maybe it’s not a “children’s book,” but it’s an old memory). Most who know me won’t argue that I have a short attention span. Probably why I loved Caldecott Award winning books. I need pictures (or AMAZING dialogue) to hold my attention for any length of time. The main character’s name is also “Francie” … hrm…close to Frances.

5. The Little Critter Books: Just Me and My Dad, All By Myself, Just Go to Bed, I was So Mad, I Just Forgot, etc. What exactly is the Little Critter? Is he a badger, like Francis? A porcupine? I’ll probably never know… I think I liked these books so much because they usually completely, totally revolved around the Little Critter (and his mom, dad, grandma, etc). I think I wanted to have things revolve around me that way instead of having to share time with older siblings.

What were your favorite books as a kid?

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  1. Laney
    October 26, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I LOOOVE Tikki Tikki Tembo! Easily top three for me. The others: Eupohonia and the Flood & More Spaghetti I Say.

    Ahhh…my dad was GREAT at reading the first two, and my oldest sister can be given credit for the 3rd. I love(d) being the youngest!

  2. October 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I LOVED The Little Critter books! My all-time favorite as a kid, though, was “Sherlock Chick and the Peekaboo Mystery.” I had it memorized! My grandma would read it to me and I would be 2 or 3 pages ahead of her with the narration! Loved it! I think my Dad still has our original copy that has the binding taped together with brown tape.

    Ruined with love!!!


  3. Lara Allen
    October 26, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    How did Pat the Bunny not make the top five??? My favorite books were the Berenstain Bears. I can’t wait to read those to Avery. And as far as the Little Critter goes, I think he is a porcupine. Or perhaps a porcubadger?

    • October 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

      I got quite a few Berenstain Bears books this weekend. And some of the Disney hard cover ones that were a series in the 80s. I liked those a lot too.

  4. kath
    October 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    i’m so with you on tikki tikki tembo, and bread and jam for frances, and the little critter books! i come from a long line of readers and still get old kids books from my mom too! i keep telling her to hold onto them until grandkids come along lol i knew tikki tikki tembo by heart as a kid, that was probably my absolute favorite 🙂

  5. Jeannine
    October 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Fortunately by Remy Charlip. Go read it now — it rocks. And Boy Was I Mad.

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